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CONTESTED OR UNCONTESTED DIVORCE-WHATS THE DIFFERENCE?

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A divorce in California is called a Dissolution of Marriage, and can be either contested or uncontested. Sometimes a divorce can start as contested but can change to uncontested after the passage of time where the parties have had time to think about what they want to accomplish.

CALIFORNIA UNCONTESTED DIVORCE

Uncontested divorces occurs when a couple agrees on every issue necessary to conclusively and effectively terminate their marriage, without disputed or unresolved consequences. Compared to a contested divorce, it’s faster, more convenient, inexpensive, and less stressful.

In an uncontested divorce, you and your spouse may agree on how to handle property, money, and parenting issues. In some cases, this means neither party will need to file a response to court filing. In another example, your spouse may not disagree with you on your requests and is not likely to file forms in court saying so. In a situation where the spouse does not file a response, the Petitioner will receive a “default” judgment.

CALIFORNIA CONTESTED DIVORCE

A contested divorce simply means both parties are not in agreement and are contesting some of the major issues of the dissolution. Some of the most common disagreements in divorce proceedings are over child custody, child support, spousal support, property division and debt allocation.

Even if there contested issues between you and your spouse, attorneys recommend that the parties try to settle as many matters as possible before going to court. Sometimes the parties are able to come to an agreement on an issue while other issues will have to be decided by a judicial officer. Contested divorces cost more, take more time, and result in more emotional stress.